A smile is the best accessory
If you have missing teeth, you sure know the importance of teeth for looking beautiful. Teeth are essential for chewing and hence for proper nutrition. Speech might be affected if you have missing teeth. Studies have shown tooth loss can reduce self-confidence. Do you know missing teeth can make you look older? The teeth are designed such that they can work most efficiently if together and even one single missing tooth can alter the entire mouth and its functioning.
Fortunately with advancement in dentistry, missing teeth can now be replaced easily and efficiently.
The available options include:
Removable Partial Denture:
As the name suggests, they can be taken out of the mouth by patient themselves. Partial dentures have missing teeth replaced with acrylic teeth attached to gums. Partial dentures might have some form of clasp to hold your natural teeth for stability. You might have to visit your dentist some times for adjustments or "fine tune" the fit of your new denture.
- Removable for easy cleaning
- May replace multiple teeth
- Less number of visits required
- Less stable than other choices
- Have to be removed frequently
- Can make you feel uncomfortable in public places
- Requires time & patience to adapt
- May cause tooth loss
Another commonly used option for tooth replacement is a fixed bridge. This can be used to fill spaces with one or more lost teeth. A fixed bridge is fixed onto teeth and only a dentist can remove it. Placing a bridge usually requires 2-3 visits to the clinic. The dentist will prepare the teeth on either side of the space, make an impression of the mouth. The impression is then sent to the lab for fabricating your bridge.
- Looks, feels and functions like natural teeth
- Does not come out
- Does affect the teeth on either side of the space
- Might cause sensitivity of the supporting teeth
- Meticulous hygiene maintenance required
- Requires extra effort to clean under the bridge
These are the most long lasting & latest treatment options available presently. You may replace a single tooth, several teeth, or entire set of teeth with implants. An implant is a "screw" which is surgically placed in the jaw. They act as an anchor for replacing missing teeth. They are made of Titanium (a strong, neutral & lightweight metal) and other noble materials. Implants are a great and permanent replacement solution. Because they require surgery, patients should be in good health with adequate bone support.
Your dentist will guide you to decide if implants are the best choice for you.
- Most similar to natural tooth
- May help prevent bone loss
- Does not affect other healthy teeth
- Better aesthetics
- Need not be removed
- Better chewing strength and efficiency as compared to removable partial denture or bridges.
- Clean like your natural teeth
- May take longer due to healing time
- Requires surgery
- Multiple appointments required
All the above discussed options requires a detailed consultation with the doctor and can be selected based your needs and health conditions.